Posted on

Installation: Grouts, mortars help tile setters do it right

September 16/23, 2019: Volume 35, Issue 7

By Lindsay Baillie


Choosing the right mortar and grout is critical to any ceramic tile or stone installation. To help installers ensure a job is done right the first time, grout and mortar manufacturers are developing improved products suitable for all applications. Following are several of the latest grouts and mortars to hit the market.


Hydroment Vivid is a rapid-curing, premium-grade, cement-based grout for demanding kitchen, bathroom and commercial projects. Hydroment Vivid offers consistent color technology with enhanced stain and superior efflorescence protection. It is fiber-reinforced for increased crack resistance and non-sag properties. The rapid curing trait makes Hydroment Vivid ready for foot traffic in four hours. Additionally, Hydroment Vivid exceeds requirements of ANSI A118.7 and contains Bostik’s patented Blockade Antimicrobial Protection.

Hydroment Vivid offers installers improved characteristics compared to standard cement-based grout without requiring any change in their installation techniques, according to Adam Abell, market manager, tile and stone installation systems. Color Suspension technology allows Hydroment Vivid grout to be rich in color, extremely color consistent, simple to pack and tool joints as well as be easily floated and cleaned. Suitable applications include interior and exterior, residential and commercial and installations on floors and walls in dry to intermittent wet or submerged applications.


Ardex WA high-performance, 100% solid epoxy grout and adhesive is available in 35 Ardex colors. This solvent-free, two-component epoxy grout and adhesive is easy to apply— unlike other epoxy grout—and has a very creamy consistency.

“Ardex WA cleans off easily with just water, and there is no rush to get it off the tile as it is recommended to leave the grout on the tile for approximately 45-60 minutes,” said Russ Gaetano, senior marketing manager. “In addition, it can be used as a grout or an adhesive and is ideal for installing glass tile in pools.”

Custom Building Products

ProLite premium large-format tile mortar from Custom Building Products is a contractor favorite due to its outstanding performance and versatility. That’s according to Eric Carr, vice-president, commercial marketing and product management. “Contractors often tell us that ProLite is their crews’ No. 1 choice for tile setting,” he explained. “They really appreciate the versatility, the ease of handling and the fact that it doesn’t sag on walls.”

Designed with non-slump properties to support the weight of heavy stone and large format tile, ProLite can be used up to 3⁄4-inch deep on horizontal applications. The thixotropic mortar offers high-bond strength and will not sag or slip on walls, according to the company, making it ideal for vertical installations. ProLite exceeds the requirements of ANSI A118.15TE, including extended open time for exteriors and hot or windy conditions. For fast-track construction, ProLite is also available in a rapid-setting formula that allows grouting in three hours.

Formulated with CustomLite Technology and smooth aggregate, ProLite is said to be 40% lighter than typical mortars and delivers superior handling for tile installers. A 30-pound bag of lightweight ProLite covers the same area as a 50-pound bag of traditional mortar, the company said, making it easier to transport around a jobsite and less fatiguing to use. ProLite contains post-consumer recycled content, is Greenguard Gold certified and contributes to LEED certification.


Sprectralock Pro Premium Translucent Grout is a patented, high-performance epoxy grout designed to offer customers a unique opaque color that diffuses light for a vibrant finish. The grout is designed for residential and commercial use on interior or exterior ceramic tile, glass tile and stone applications, and is ideal for regrouting swimming pools, fountains and other wet areas.

The grout can also be paired with Spectralock Dazzle, which comes in 12 colors in addition to a glow-in-the-dark option. Other product features include an 80-minute working time at 70 degrees, a high UV and chemical resistance, no sealing required and crack-resistance properties. What’s more, the grout boasts great non-sag performance, improved stain resistance and color uniformity, according to the company.


To assist in waterproofing and sealing grouted (as well as other) projects, Schon̈ox has created Schon̈ox HA and iFix. Schon̈ox HA can be used for installations of waterproof sealings under ceramic tiles in residential and commercial wet areas. This ready-mixed, rollable, waterproof sealing product acts as a crack-isolation membrane without waterproofing requirements and can be applied in one coat at required thickness.

iFix is Schon̈ox’s waterproof sealing adhesive, which the company said offers a40% faster installation time over traditional methods. Touting exceptional coverage and bond strength, iFix is suitable for swimming pools, balconies and terraces in interior and exterior applications. What’s more, iFix can be bundled with Schon̈ox AB and ST waterproofing materials to produce a comprehensive shower assembly system ideal for commercial or residential use.

Both Schon̈ox HA and iFix may also help contribute to LEED v4 certification.


Uzin XtraColor Grout is a high-performance, polymer- modified cementitious tile and stone grout. Its extensive palette of 35 colors is said to offer advanced quality and superior color consistency, and its premium blend of fine raw materials mixes quickly to the preferred feel and workability desired by tile contractors. The tile and stone grout also cleans up well, making grout haze removal easy.

XtraColor Grout has excellent compressive, tensile and flexural strength, low shrinkage and water absorption values as well as great balance between its two-hour working time and 12-hour-to-foot-traffic time, according to the company. The grout also comes with Uzin’s exclusive Aqua Pearl Effect, which is designed to improve stain resistance, color retention and appearance.

The grout is suitable for all types of tile, glass and natural stone in both residential and commercial installations and in interior, exterior, immersion, water saturation and seasonal freeze/thaw environments. It also meets or exceeds the ANSI 118.6 standard.